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Archiwum - Lipiec, 2015

Blog Tour: Dear Darling by Ellen Faith / eBook Review

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Dear Darling by Ellen Faith

 

Publisher:

Publishing Date: 29th July 2015

Source:  Received for review purposes.

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance

 Buy the Book: Kindle

 

 

 Synopsis:

‘I’m 30 years old and sat celebrating with a greasy pizza and a bottle of cheap plonk.’

On her 30th birthday, Ellie Darling decides that it’s time to start a diary. Mainly as a reminder for when she’s old and living with cats that she once had a life that wasn’t all bad. Even if it was one where at 30 years of age, she still refused to spend that extra £3 on the good wine instead of chocolate.

But when the only proposal she gets from her boyfriend on Valentine’s Day is that of a threesome, she decides that enough is enough! With a new, improved job as Personal Assistant to one of the most feared Partners at her law firm – one that she doesn’t seem to be able to stop dreaming about – Ellie decides that this will be her year. And if she has to run errands for her boss’ neurotic Russian girlfriend or drag her best friend to a sponsored cycle with her now gay first love, then so be it.

 

Rating: 5/5

 

I’ve read only one book by Ellen Faith before, and because I really loved it, when I spotted that the lovely Tay is looking for hosts for the „Dear Darling” blog tour, I didn’t hesitate and signed up on the spot. I haven’t even read the blurb, I just knew that I’m going to love this book. Nevertheless, after I started reading it, I really must have checked if it is the same Ellen Faith we are talking about, as „Learn to Love Again” that I’ve read before couldn’t have been more different to „Dear Darling”! There, where „Learn to Love Again” was emotional and tearful, „Dear Darling” was incredibly entertaining and full of LOL – moments. Looks like no matter what Ellen Faith writes, it’s going to be spot on and a cracker of a story! And I personally find the title is brilliant. „Dear Darling”. Ha! Yes, Ellie is a real Darling :)

This book is mostly about entertainment and mischief, and probably this is why I loved it so much! Once in a while you want to read a sexy, funny, brilliant rom – com that doesn’t feel like a brainless story, and „Dear Darling” has absolutely fulfilled my expectations. It’s clever, it’s intelligent, and yet it is a incredibly light and easy novel.

I totally loved the idea of writing the book in the form of diary – it avoids the long descriptions and made the reading really fast, as the pace was really quick. And I loved Ellie’s entries, they were full of fun, humour, and she had a great way of writing about her days. Such a shame it was only for one year! But what a year it was, no idea how Ellie kept this pace, there was not a single day that nothing happened. The situations were hilarious and I was laughing out loud at the way Ellie described them.

The characters were brilliant, so colourful and vivid and I mostly loved them with all my heart, all loved to hate them with all my heart, and I found myself begging the karma to strike earlier rather than later.
Ellie was fantastic. I started to like her from the very beginning, when she mentioned she needs to buy some essentials, and those essentials were bread and Nutella. I was sold already, and then I only found myself liking Ellie more and more, laugh at her antics, keeping my fingers crossed for her and experiencing her life together with her. She was my favourite kind of character, so prone to accident and to put herself in embarrassing situations, but also so full of heart and maintaining a healthy distance from herself . Ellie, my girl, and everything she did I was applauding her, even if this what she did was a little illegal. Well, sometimes the more serious actions are needed, right? She was not flawless, oh no, she wasn’t, but let’s just do this in Ellie’s style, with chocolate and wine, shall we?

Adam, oh the lovely Adam, moody and broody, but such a softie inside (what he said about being with Saskia, mmmm), but really, he was the champion of changing moods, one second he was all lovely and in the next he was growling at the poor Ellie, but ha! They met their match and diamond cut diamonds! No, really, altogether, he was brilliant, even when on a whim he was deciding to buy a pony for one very loud girl (no, no, no and no again. Not buying ponies, puppies and other animals for birthdays or Christmases).

Truly, all the characters have a depth to themselves and they have personalities!!! They are strong, colourful and vivid and feel like real people, with all their actions and the way they’re speaking with each other and reacting to things. I really fell head over heel for all of them, no matter if they were the good, or the bad ones. I either rooted for her and wanted to high – five them, or wanted to slap them or do to them what they do to Ellie and Adam’s cars. The relationships and friendship (especially between Ellie, Gina and Hannah) seem just so genuine and honest and natural, and the banter between them had me in giggles.

There were moments that I felt I missed something, as some of the significant – in my eyes – information was left out, not told, for example that Adam and Saskia are not a couple anymore was mentioned, just like this, and it was a really important thing to the whole story, right? And it happened few times, and while altogether it was not a drama or it didn’t spoil the reading, I’d really like for such things to be clearly mentioned and explained. And also, since the girls went on holidays, I don’t know, I had a feeling that the author herself wanted to finish the story eventually and it all seemed so rushed. But those are of course only my own „buts”, and they don’t spoil the book, not at all.

This book left me laughing out loud and feeling so good, really. I enjoyed every minute of it and on one hand I wanted to read it as quickly as possible, and on the other hand I didn’t want it to end – and those are the best books. This is an ultimate chick – lit, it just has it all. Next to brilliant characters, there is action, drama, Fun with a capital F, it is incredibly fast paced and written in exceptionally engaging, light way. Everything worked out in this story – the plot, the setting, the characters, the actions, which doesn’t happen often! So yes, I can’t recommend this book highly enough!

 

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Blog Tour: The Piano Man Project by Kat French / eBook Review

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The Piano Man Project by Kat French

 

Publisher: Avon

Publishing Date: 30th July 2015

Source:  Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!.

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 Synopsis:

Finding love isn’t always black and white…

You: kind, piano-playing sex god
Me: hopelessly romantic charity shop manager

Honeysuckle Jones has a problem, and her best friends Nell and Tash are on a mission to help her solve it. She needs a man – a caring, intelligent, funny man. But most importantly, a man who’s good with his hands…

Luckily Honey’s new neighbour – moody, antisocial ex-chef Hal – fails on almost every count. Even though the chemistry between them is electric, he’s obviously wrong for her in every way.

But when Honey discovers the devastating reason for his moods she decides to give him another chance. And discovers that the best songs aren’t always in tune…

A hilarious, feel-good, sexy romantic comedy for fans of Lucy Diamond, Paige Toon and Giovanna Fletcher.

 

Rating: 4/5

 

Since I’ve read Kat’s debut novel, „Undertaking Love” and loving it with all my heart, I was impatiently waiting for her new release, and finally it is here! I didn’t even need to read the blurb, I was so sure it is going to be Kat’s next cracker, and even though I loved „Undertaking Love” little more that „The Piano Man Project”, I still enjoyed it immensely and found myself falling in love with the characters and Kat’s writing – afresh.

Our main character Honey is likeable from the very first scene. She’s working in a charity shop that is a part of a care home, and the care home, and also the shop, are going to probably be closed down soon. Honey has two best friends, Nell and Tash, who decide to help her when they hear that their best friend has never, ever climaxed. And who is better than a man who can play piano (because he’s apparently really good with his hands…) to quickly do the catching up? No matter if Honey wants or not, those two settle on a quest to find her a piano man.
As if it weren’t too much, Honey has a new neighbour, Hal – moody, arrogant, unpleasant neighbour, let’s add, who either drinks whisky or abuse Honey. Oh no, wait, there are moments that he’s really a good listener, because Honey has just took to sit by his door and tell him about her days and problems.

So let me tell you, as much as I was sure this book is going to be only about the piano men, it so wasn’t! There was so much more to it! I didn’t expect it different, of course, that apart of the funny aspect and a lot of humour, Kat is going to touch some more tender issues, and I wasn’t wrong, because she writes about consequences of a tragic accident and how Hal copes (or not) with them, and also the care home takes a big part in this story, together with its brilliant residents, such as Bill, Mimi and Lucille.

You know what was really exceptional in this story? Well, the relationship/non – relationship between Honey and Hal. Their will they/won’t they was probably the highlight of the book and I loved the interactions between those two, which were so variable! Once they were incredibly sweet to each other, to tear their hair out in the next second, and you never could be sure what comes next – I truly liked this unpredictability of it, as well as this incredible tension between them. The scenes with those two were usually packed with chemistry and they were the funniest in the book I think, and I loved how Honey felt she can really open her heart to Hal. Although – yes, I must say this! – there were really moments that I wanted to slap him Oh. So. Hard and he often left me confused with his moods – though they were very clearly explained.

Honey was such a lovely girl, easy – going and full of understanding, and very prone to put herself into very embarrassing situations. Hal, despite being so grumpy and moody, was also incredibly easy to not only like, but love, oh my, yes, love. He was sarcastic and arrogant, and he could be verrry unpleasant, but nevertheless, despite some moments that I wanted to kill him, he was what I call a real hero – with many flaws, not at all perfect, with handicap and many demons, and it all made him so realistic in my eyes. The differences between Honey and Hal were brilliantly captured and Kat created a really dynamic, fighting duo, but you know what they say, no? Those who argue, like each other.
I know, some may say, oh gosh, why was Honey so patient with Hal, he was so rude, she should just went for the piano man, but well, nonono, impossible, he was just so appealing, there was something magic in him, something that attracted me to him as well. Yes, it might have seen a little unrealistic, because in real life I think every single woman in the world would give up and leave Hal alone, and there were moments it looked like Honey was throwing himself at him, instead of letting him go and making him come and beg, but well, let’s just go with the flow, ok? And maybe Honey was really stubborn :)

This story is so much more than only searching for a pianist for Honey. A big part of the story takes place at Holly’s workplace and at the care home, and here we are introduce to some lovely characters, such as Bill, Mimi and Lucille, and even the greedy, insensitive Honey’s boss which fate and never – ending bad luck in dealing with Honey and her friends made me smile with satisfaction. They were all brilliantly described and they really felt as if they were living their own lives. And yes, I will never look at the handcuffs in the same way. The residents of the care home this time didn’t pelt us with some worldly wisdoms, but were lively, larger than life people with a great sense of humour and different personalities.

I did miss some more blind dates with the pianists, though. They were funny and I’d really love to see more of them. I also find there were moments the book felt like dragging on a little, there were moments it felt too long and too flat.

Altogether, „The Piano Man Project” has it all. It’s funny and gentle, humorous and touching, it’s full of emotions and understanding, romance and drama. It casts some great characters that you quickly find yourself rooting for. The writing was flowing, the storytelling was hooking, and the plot felt really fresh, with some subplots intertwined as well, such as the care home closing, lost brothers found, and it is all very neatly and nicely wrapped up. It was a sweet, adorable read with outstanding, quirky characters.
So there is really much more to the story, it is not only your usual romance. It is full of heart and feelings, with a feel – good factor to it, a book that is going to make you laugh and it the next second quietly sobbing. It is on one hand an easy, sexy read, and on the other it also touches some important issues like the attitude to the elderly people, it explores the friendship – it is a complex, but truly easy read.

 

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Killing Monica by Candace Bushnell / Book Review

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Killing Monica by Candace Bushnell

 

Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group

Publishing Date: 23rd June 2015

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!.

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Entertainment

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Hardcover | Paperback

 

 

 Synopsis:

In KILLING MONICA Bushnell spoofs and skewers her way through pop culture, celebrity worship, fame, and even the meaning of life itself, when a famous writer must resort to faking her own death in order to get her life back from her most infamous creation–Monica. With her trademark wit and style, KILLING MONICA is Bushnell’s sharpest, funniest book to date.

 

Rating: 3/5

 

It’s been some years since I’ve read any Candace Bushnell’s books, and even if I am not the biggest fan of her stories, there is something in her writing that just attracts me to them, so when I’ve seen that „Killing Monica” is going to be published, I knew that I must read this book. The blurb promises that it’s Ms Bushnell’s best book yet, so full of hope, anticipation and expectations I started reading this story.

And at the beginning I enjoyed the book very much. It was slightly satirical, slightly OTT, but was fast paced and easy to follow. But somewhere around the moment when Pandy started to meet with the older politician, the book started to feel just like all the other Candace’s books, the characters started to feel incredibly shallow and empty and the story itself just feel too unrealistic. There were really moments that I was struggling with the plot, thinking „Really?”. Like, „Really, really?”. I also couldn’t warm to the names. Pandemonia. Pandy. Really? Sondra Beth Schnowser ?!?! Also, some of the descriptions were just so, so over – exaggerated, and I couldn’t wait for the author to just get down to business.

Pandy Willis is the author of Monica, and Monica is everywhere. Sondra Beth Schnowser is the actress, playing Monica in the films. The two women are best friends and they are enjoying their lives, often creating havoc around them, but as soon as Sondra starts to think that she really is Monica, the friendship ends – there is only one Monica, and it’s her creator, Pandy.

The story follows mostly Pandy, her present and her past, and slowly we learn about her life, her friends, her exes, and well, her life was for sure a colourful one. Monica’s life on the other hand is like Pandy would like her life to look like. It was all written in a very specific way, because mostly we knew about the things and then the author took us to the past to explain what was the reason those things happened, for example we knew that Pandy is divorced, and then we got a very long story of her relationship, how it started, how it ended, and it would be okay if we weren’t to know already that she was divorced, if we were to learn it, so it felt like going round in circles.

I was also missing some more depth to the characters, as they all behaved as self – absorbed, air heads, who really had nothing to do with their lives. Also couldn’t come to terms with the friendship between Pandy and Sondra Beth – was this a friendship at all, with Sondra Beth monopolizing everything and everybody and always getting what she wanted, not being afraid of using or hurting Pandy? Although Pandy herself is a drama queen, concentrating on herself and on drunken holidays.

The story is full of twists and turns, but mostly they feel too forced, too pushed, and too unrealistic, especially in the second half. The characters seemed to focus only on themselves and I truly couldn’t care more what’s going to happen with them and what’s happened with Monica’s leg, as it’s missing. I’m truly torn about this book, because on one hand it was relatively funny, crazy read, on the other, it was just a little too OTT, too ridiculous, and as it felt so exaggerated, I had problems to truly engage with it. I mean, could it really happen that a character created by an author took a life of its own? That a real person would start to think that she’s really a book – character?

Altogether, I really wanted to love this book, but I still don’t know what to do with it. I suspect it was meant to be a comedy, and I am not sure if „Killing Monica” is, in fact, „Sex and the City”, and the author wanted to get it into our heads that she’s much more than SATC, that she’s written other books as well, and yet people still associate her only with Sarah Jessica Parker and Manolos. But well, for me Candace Bushnell is probably going to stay the author of only one book, of „Sex and the City” – there are authors that can try no matter what and they are still going to be the one book – only associated, just like Lauren Weisberger with „Devil Wears Prada”, and it’s the same here, also for me. Sorry, I’ve read Candace’s all books and neither is as good as her debut novel. It started really promising, but then just went downhill. Nevertheless, I liked the writing style, this is why I actually read every Candace Bushnell’s new release – it’s sharp – observed, ironic and not too hard. It more than once felt like reading not a book, but a gossip – magazine. It was humorous and entertaining and light, and well, yes, it had a rather surprising twist at the end.

 
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Napisane w kategorii 2015 Releases, Rating 3/5

 

The Matchmaker by Elin Hildebrand / Book Review

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The Matchmaker by Erin Hildebrand

 

Publisher: Hodder

Publishing Date: 2nd July 2015

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!.

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Literature/Fiction (Adult)

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 Synopsis:

A touching new novel from Elin Hilderbrand in which a dying woman sets out to find love for those closest to her – before it’s too late

Dabney Kimball Beech, the 48-year-old fifth generation Nantucketer, has had a lifelong gift of matchmaking (52 couples still together to her credit). But when Dabney discovers she is dying of pancreatic cancer, she sets out to find matches for a few people very close to home: her husband, celebrated economist John Boxmiller Beech; her lover journalist Clendenin Hughes; and her daughter, Agnes, who is engaged to be married to the wrong man.

As time slips away from Dabney, she is determined to find matches for those she loves most – but at what cost to her own relationships? THE MATCHMAKER is the heartbreaking new novel from Elin Hilderbrand about losing and finding love, even as you’re running out of time.

 

Rating: 3/5

 

The way the book was written and told reminded me a lot of Jane Green’s books, it was similar in tone and style to those of hers, which is a great thing.

The blurb strongly emphasized that Dabney has cancer, but it doesn’t mention that she discovers it at the end of the book. So yes, she felt ill, but she didn’t know what’s wrong with her. It also tells us that because of cancer she wants to bring order to the lives of her beloved and closest to her, so it is like this: we know she has cancer, she doesn’t know she has cancer and yet she’s trying to match people like she thinks is best for them – it looks for me like interfering and not trying to make peace with her own life. I also don’t get this raving about Dabney. What was SO special about this woman that she was so beloved and loved? For me she was more like Queen Bee who wants to know everything and everyone.

I can’t not mention the names of the characters. I mean, Dabney? Clendenin? Celerie? I’m sorry, but those are the most unusual names I have ever heard. Well, yes, you can have original names but those…? What’s wrong with a plain, good, old Jane? Each time I was reading Dabney, Clendenin, Celerie I felt my insides turning around.

As much as there was a lot happening in the book, the last 20 or so pages were packed with action, but not with action par excellence, but with emotions and feelings. It was really very touching and moving and yes, I admit, I’ve shed a tear or two. It was truly a great end to this story.

The story is mostly about long lost love and regained love. I am a little torn, as I’m not too sure what to think about it in fact. It was really hard to understand Dabney and her fear of leaving the island – yes, I know where that fear was coming from, but on the other hand, we can say she was an adult and she should know what is best for her and where her priorities are. It feels like she has tricked Box her whole life and as much as he wasn’t my favourite person in the book, he was too tense and stiff and not at all spontaneous and took all things for granted, I think that no person deserves to be the second. That’s true that he had Dabney, but he didn’t have her heart. And really, if she was so much in love with Clendenin, she had his baby, loved him her whole life, shouldn’t she revalue her life, instead of, in fact, telling lies? Yes, it is complicated and probably no answer is the right one to this, and I am not judging her, absolutely not, I just wonder, is it really worth to live in lie? And being so selfish and in cold blood continue the affair instead of choosing? Choosing would prevent all the unfairness and problems that arose because of this affair.

It is also a story about, as it often happens, focusing on other things in life, organizing life of others and not seeing that your own family’s life is not as smooth as you’d like it to be. Dabney is very good at focusing on different things in the Chamber of Commerce where she works since years, on matchmaking, seeing either pinky or green aura around the couples, letting her own family and life to skip on the second plan, and often when you spot it, it’s already too late. But is it too late for Dabney and her family?

Also, about the matchmaking skills – Dabney seemed not to care too much about other people’s feeling, and let’s be honest, if people are single, it’s OK, but breaking up relationships only to prove that you were right? Not my idea of the perfect match and beginning of a new, happy family. It really seems that the book was full of infidelities and lies, what with all the affairs, matchmaking and Dabney leaving work every day, having her best friend covering for her, only to see her lover. Just cut it, and be honest, and her it seemed that it’s a normal way of living, that it’s OK.

Maybe because of the plot I had some problems to warm to the characters (this, and the names! Sorry! They just sounded so unnatural!). They felt too dull, as if there was no life in them, and they often focus on very trivial things instead of on important ones.

But Elin Hildebrand has a great talent to describe emotions. There is everything in this book, love, hate, sadness, joy, frustration, hope and desperation, and you can feel it through the pages. I enjoyed the passages told by people that Dabney matched, those were some nice stories, and in the end they made a great present for her.

I absolutely loved the setting of the Nantucket Island – it was totally new for me, and I enjoyed the descriptions very much. Also, I adored how much the residents of the Island were in love with it and how when people once saw Nantucket, they either wanted to live there or they were coming back again and again. You could see that the place has no secrets for Elin and that she knows what she’s writing about.

So yes, I am in two minds about the book. The writing, the setting were really good, the characters and the idea of plot not my favourite. It was my first book by Elin Hildebrand but I am for sure going to read her other stories, I want to see if all of them are like this one, or maybe if they’re different. Nevertheless, I’d say, try this book for yourself and see if it is a perfect read for you.

 
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Napisane w kategorii 2015 Releases, Rating 3/5

 

Drive Me Crazy by Portia Macintosh / eBook Review

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Drive Me Crazy by Portia Macintosh

 

Publisher: Carina

Publishing Date: 24th June 2015

Source:  Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!.

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle

 

 

 Synopsis:

It was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime…

In reality it was a business trip, prettied up as a romantic mini break, but the man behind the wheel was meant to be Candice Hart’s boss and (married but separated, I swear!) lover. Not Danny the new guy!

Not only is Candice faced with a new driver, but the office’s far too handsome hipster expects her to share the cramped space inside his “fully” restored VW Beetle, aka The Love Bug, and put up with his constant opinions about her life…

Before long she is tired of playing the ‘good girl’ and, with Danny’s help, is determined to finally show the world the real Candice Hart!

Don’t miss this hilarious new novel from bestselling author of Bad Bridesmaid.

 

Rating: 5/5

 

Guys, if „Drive Me Crazy” is still sitting on your kindle, un – read, then please read it asap! I can’t believe what took me so long to start this novel, I’m truly angry with myself – this is a gorgeous, light, heart – warming read that makes you long for more from this author.

So. At the beginning I really only thought, what the hell…? Candice, are you for real? I truly couldn’t encompass how a young, intelligent woman can let a man to boss her around so much, decide what she should wear, eat, say and how she should behave… I can understand affair, I truly can, even if I don’t support it, but I absolutely can’t bear women that are like mimosa, going and doing only this what their man tells them to. And let’s be honest, Candice was like this. But! Oh, don’t be mistaken, and have patience, because Candice is going to let her hair down (literally), and how…!

I am sure that drawing Candice like this was intended by the author. You know, you start to think no way, Candice, no way, and than the lovely Portia just bang, bang, bang, put Candice in totally new light, let Candice show her true colours and our feelings, like, rotate 360 degree. Because Candice is THE ultimate heroine and I just truly loved her.

And oh my, Dan. He annoyed me so much at the beginning, with his Peter Pan approach to everything, but I quickly changed my opinion about him. He might have not been visually my favourite hero, but inside he was absolutely hilarious, funny, smart and life and soul of the party – believe me, having Dan at the most dull party will change everything and make it the best one in your life! Who would think that this irritating IT geek will turn out into such a great guy with imagination – let’s just shortly stop at and admire his beloved car, VW Beetle with the name „The Love Bug” :)

I’m not sure if we should compare Dan and Will, Candice’s boss from hell, with no morals, no back – bone, with nothing in fact, who was as unpleasant as possible, really. Dan was so easy – going, down – to – earth, and in fact, after a while, I started to like his YOLO attitude, it is, in fact, true, right? And in contrast to Will, he encouraged Candice to throw off the shell she was carrying (ie. the old – modern clothes, the no – swearing, the tight plait) and start to be herself again.

I loved following Candice and Dan on their road trip and couldn’t wait to see what more is going to happen and what kind of embarrassing situations they’re going to put themselves into, or what kind of troubles they’re going to cause, and what’s going to happen in „The Love Bug” with only one door working. And I was not disappointed, as the situations were mostly hilarious, but also warm, full of emotions and even if they were so funny they felt also realistic, they were so easy to imagine.

Also kuddos to Portia for making her characters so lively and dynamic. I adored what she did with Candice, who turned out from this sad, fake girl sitting in a job that she hated into a woman of her own, a spontaneous, funny girl. It was a great joy to rediscover the real Candice. Dan was also such a surprise, you would expect a stiff IT guy and you got a sexy, gorgeous, smartass, funny man. The relationship between those two felt so honest and genuine, nothing was too forced, and they were not afraid to quarrel, fall out, offend and tell each other what they think.

Because I really like books set on the road, I liked the idea of this story. And methinks that with so many novels with similar plots (girl falling in love with her married boss, swallowing all the lies and almost changing her personality, then girl, because of the circumstances, being forced on a trip not with the boss but with the other guy) it isn’t easy to write something as fresh, funny and unique as „Drive Me Crazy”, because yes, the adventures of Candice and Dan were hilarious and I couldn’t stop laughing. And I, for sure, won’t look at tattoos the same way anymore! And also at pugs. Or big cheeseburgers. Really, believe me, when the fun started there was nothing stopping it, and I can’t express how much I enjoyed this book. It is full of joy and laugh, embarrassing situations, and Portia MacIntosh has this incredible talent to change every situation, even the most usual and casual one, into a hilarious scene that had me in giggles. Who would thought that a normal food poisoning can be so entertaining? Or smuggling a dog in the hotel?

I am for sure going to dig around my kindle in the search for Portia’s previous books, I really can’t believe that I haven’t read them yet! About time to make up for it! „Drive Me Crazy” had everything that I so like in my books – it had larger than life characters, original plot, a lot of fun but also some tenders moments, it was full of incredible one – liners and realistic banter between the characters. If you are looking to spend some entertaining hours in a great company, don’t hesitate and read „Drive Me Crazy”, I’m sure you’re going to love it!

 
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Napisane w kategorii 2015 Releases, Rating 5/5

 

Weekly Wrap Up #55

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Hi guys! Welcome to Weekly Wrap Up with a very nice round number! 55! Sorry for not posting last Sunday but with family visiting it was not so easy, so today I’m rounding up the last two weeks.

BOOKS I RECEIVED & BOUGHT THE LAST WEEKS:

PAPERBACKS:

Jackie Collins „The Santangelos” (SQUEEEEE! EXCITEMENT! Santangelos are back, yay!!!)

Jayne Ann Krentz (writing as Jayne Castle) „Siren’s Call”

Lauren Dane „Falling Under”

Joanna Taylor „Masquerade”

Tammy Cohen „First One Missing”

Anouska Knight „Letting You Go”

Haley Hill „It’s Got to be Perfect”

Kendra Smith „Jacaranda Wife” – signed copy for my giveaway!

Sheila O’Flanagan „My Mother’s Secret”

Jo Thomas „The Olive Branch”

Katie MacAlister „Dragon Fall”

Lisa Kleypas „Brown – Eyed Girl”

Dinah Jefferies „The Tea – Planter Wife”

Lucinda Riley „The Storm Sister”

Karen Swan „Christmas on Primrose Hill”

Claire Sandy „A Very Big House in the Country”

Miranda Dickinson „A Parcel for Anna Brown”

KINDLE:

Marieke Nijkamp „This is Where it Ends”

Leah Marie Brown „Finding It”

Rebecca Raisin „Secrets at the Maple Syrup Farm”

Julie Long „Roovile”

Kate Forster „Picture Perfect”

 

 

 BOOKS THAT I READ THOSE LAST WEEKS:

„Royal Wedding” by Meg Cabot – reviewed

„Drive Me Crazy” by Portia MacIntosh – to be reviewed

„A Proper Family Adbenture” by Chrissie Manby – reviewed

„Fairytale Beginnings” by Holly Martin -  reviewed

„Moving” by Jenny Eclair – reviewed

„I Spy Learn and Go” by Jonathan Litton –  reviewed

„The Matchmaker” by Elin Hildebrand – to be reviewed

„The Piano Man Project” by Kat French – to be reviewed


  Am reading right now:

„A Very Big House in the Country” by Claire Sandy (and loving it!!!)

„Dear Darling” by Ellen Faith


 I REVIEWED THIS WEEK:

The Heavenly Italian Ice Cream Shop by Abby Clements 5/5,

Summer Flings and Dancing Dreams by Sue Watson 4/5

A Proper Family Adventure by Chrissie Manby 5/5

Fairytale Beginnings by Holly Martin 5/5

Royal Wedding by Meg Cabot 5/5

Pippa’s Cornish Dream by Debbie Johnson 4/5

Moving by Jenny Eclair 5/5

Life or Something Like It by Annie Lyons 4/5

I Spy Learn and Go by Jonathan Litton 5/5

 
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Napisane w kategorii Weekly Wrap Up

 

Sophie’s Shelf: I Spy Learn and Go by Jonathan Litton

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I Spy Learn and Go by Jonathan Litton

 

Illustrator: Fhiona Galloway 

Publisher: Little Tiger Kids

Publishing Date: 6th July 2015

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!.

Genre: Children’s

 Buy the Book: Hardcover | Paperback

 

 

 Synopsis:

Lots to spot, stick and learn with I Spy! Use your amazing spotting skills to hunt for hidden objects, colours and shapes and have fun with activities in this super-busy, action-packed sticker activity book. With exciting town-based scenes, wipe-clean pages and over 100 reusable stickers you can revisit the world of Learn and Go time and again.

Rating: 5/5

 

Oh guys, what a joy this book is! It is right now one of our favourite activity books!
Sophie is incredibly enchanted by the re – usable stickers and there is nothing better
for her than to write in the book with the erasable markers, wipe it away, and write something again!
The same with the stickers: if she isn’t happy with the way it is, she just peels it off
and put it again, in other place.

There are many things to find in this book and it really is a valuable lesson
for the children, as they can try themselves in learning colours, counting, objects.
The pages are full (but not too full! – it’s also important that the children don’t
feel too overwhelmed!) of action and characters, they are incredibly colourful and
funny and eye – friendly. It is divided into five sections, and children can choose
between town, park, train station, nursery and leisure centre, so each child is for
sure going to find something for themselves.

It is truly a book for children between 3 and 5 years old, as there are not only
stickers, but they can learn to count, learn different shapes, completer jigsaws and
they make the first attempts in writing. What is also important for me as a parent is the
wonderful quality of the book – it’s really amazing.

Sophie says it’s her favourite book right now, and I can see it :)

 

Happy Birthday with Suze Lavender

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And today I am absolutely thrilled to have the loveliest and nicest person in the world on my blog, Suze of Suze Likes, Loves, Finds and Dreams. You all know Suze, so you know what I’m talking about :)

Today you can not only read about Suze’s birthday memories, but you still have a chance to win a book of your choice that she kindly donated to my Birthday Giveaway , plus many other brilliant things!

1. What is your first birthday memory?

My 6th, I got a beautiful doll with brown curly hair and named her Jeannette, after my favourite aunt.

 

2. Your best and worse birthday?

Best: My thirtieth birthday. I celebrated with a huge dinner party. We had two long tables and there were about twenty people. There was good wine, good food and great company. I loved that day and will always remember it with a warm feeling in my heart.

Worst: I’ve been sick on my birthday at least five times, so there are quite a lot of worst ones.

 

3. Your best and worse birthday present?

My best birthday present:
 A hand painted T-shirt made by my then boyfriend and now husband.

Worst: A yellowed dirty comic book and a dirty plush (I had a friend who cleaned her closets for presents and they were often too horrible to touch).

 

4. What’s your dream birthday present?

A romantic dinner with a delicious glass of champagne.

 

5. Which books would you give as birthday present?

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke.

Any book by Maria V. Snyder.
Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe, What Would Mary Berry Do, The Cake Shop in the Garden or any other wonderful romantic book about cake.

 
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Napisane w kategorii Giveaway, Misc

 

Life or Something Like It by Annie Lyons / eBook Review

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Life or Something Like It by Annie Lyons

 

Publisher: Harlequin UK

Publishing Date: 13th July 2015

Source:  Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!.

Genre: Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle

 

 

 Synopsis:

Step into someone else’s shoes for a day…
And it will change you for a lifetime.

Cat is very good at her job. She runs a PR company with her best friend (and secret crush) Jesse, and is never happier than when her high-profile celebrities are glittering in the spotlight.

But when her footballer client gets in the press for all the wrong reasons, Cat’s career takes a sudden nosedive. So when her brother Andrew unexpectedly needs her to look after his kids for a few weeks, she can hardly say no. She’s happily single, hasn’t exactly been the ‘World’s Best Auntie’ over the years, and what she knows about looking after children would fit on the back of a postage stamp. But it’s only temporary until she gets her real life back on track – isn’t it?

Rating: 4/5

 

„Life or Something Like It” is my first Annie Lyon’s book, but after reading this one, for sure not the last! I have spotted tweets about this novel appearing as if by magic on Twitter, read only raving reviews, and then I had a better look at this beautiful, gorgeous, stunning cover and synopsis, and I thought I must read this story, period.

There were some great characters in this book, that’s for certain, and they were all incredibly lively, realistic, larger than life people who were developing, also what I like most. Especially our lovely Cat has metamorphosed, and I truly enjoyed how she changed. My favourite version of her was for sure Holiday Cat, although Cat with the children and Cat who eventually decided what’s truly best for her was also good! But when Cat came back to work, I had a feeling that mostly she was regarded as a real bitch, a boss from hell, and it confused me as well, because I didn’t think about her like this. Yes, I knew that her job was her world, she didn’t feel good when she wasn’t at work, and her iPhone was the most important person in her life, but I have never spotted any presumptions or information that apart of being workaholic, she was a bossy, severe colleague.
Annie Lyons can also for sure write children’s characters, because in my opinion all three kids in the book were brilliantly pictured and were not too forced, not too exaggerated, and I loved scenes with them, even if it was moody Charlie or too self – confident and very dominant Ellie. Also we can’t forget the charming Daisy – all three were just like real children in their age. And the dynamics between Cat and her niece and nephew were brilliantly captured, and it was a real joy to see how this relationship changed.

All the other characters were incredibly well written and they were just popping out of the pages, with their problems, beliefs and opinions, and just the way they were. I only had some problems with the age of the characters. As far as I know, Cat was over thirty, am I right? Also, her best friend Ava told once that her daughter would be thirty already, so how old was she? Around fifty? Yet they didn’t sound like such mature people at all, and I mean, there is nothing wrong in this, I only felt a little confused, that’s all.

What was really exceptional in this story was the fact that – not as usually – the romance aspect was not as important. It was there, of course but the story mostly focused on how family functions and on developing bonds between family members. Well, Cat wasn’t looking for a man in her life, but she wasn’t also looking for a change in her life, and it was great to see how life takes her by surprise, how life teaches her a lesson, and Cat changes, from a woman scared of again loosing those who are closest to her into a woman who comes out of her shell and starts to appreciate what she has, not what she’s lost.

You know, I think that having children and a person having no clue about children thrown together is a sure recipe for success – I mean, just imagine how hilarious their interactions can be! Here I more than once laughed at Cat and her antics, and at the way the children perceived her and other way round, and I truly enjoyed how she found her way in her new role, but to be totally honest, I’ve expected something more – something more original, fresh and new. Don’t get me wrong please, it was a funny book with a message but it was also nothing new, I had a feeling that I’ve read about it thousand times already. I’ve missed something brand new that would take me by surprise. But other than that, I truly enjoyed this story!

I also liked one of the sub – plots that Annie Lyons decided to write about, namely about women deciding not to have children and consequences of this decision. My opinion is that if a woman doesn’t want to have children, then she shouldn’t have them, no matter why – let it be her comfort, her health, her attitude, doesn’t matter – but let’s allow it to be her decision. Why should it be other people’s business? They should focus on their own lives, period. Every woman should be given the comfort of independent decision if she wants to be a mum or not, yet still mostly people criticise childless women. WHY? Life with children is nice, but life without children can also be nice.

So yes, under the surface of a merry, funny novel the author also tackles some very hot – spot issues, such as the above mentioned not having children out of choice or cyber – bullying.
It was also this kind of book when you could feel with all your heart how it is going to end, and what kind of things are going to happen, but this time it didn’t bother me as much. Maybe because Annie Lyons is writing with her heart on a plate, her writing style is warm, lovely and engaging, and the story itself, even with some gentle moments or important messages, is nice, breezy and funny summer read, with great characters, lot of humour and tender moments, so, in fact, this book has it all! If you are looking for a breezy, warm, funny read with a lovely depth, then don’t hesitate and read „Life or Something Like It”!

 
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Napisane w kategorii 2015 Releases, Rating 4/5

 

Happy Birthday with Laura!

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The lovely Laura of Laura’s Little Book Blog is my next victim today, thank you so much you brilliant, brilliant girl! Laura has not only took her time to answer my questions about her birthdays, but she has also donated a book in my Birthday Giveaway – thank you tons!

So ladies and gentlemen, today I give you LauraMidnightstar3!

1. What is your first birthday memory?

My 2nd birthday party where I had my first kiss, played in a green box and took food off the other kids plates! Naughty!

 

2. Your best and worst birthday?

Best was when I went to New York for my 18th, not sure I really have a worst. I would say my 17th was my least favourite as just had a sleepover as still too young to really go out.

 

3. Your best and worst birthday present?

Best was definitely getting to go to New York, as for worst, again not sure, actually think it was some horrible big pink shell jewellery from my ex-boyfriend, not my taste at all!

 

4. What’s your dream birthday present?

A trip to the Bahamas (not asking for much really ;))

 

5. Which books would you give as birthday present?

Lots! Definitely The Lie by Cally Taylor for all those thriller lovers, Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell, When God Was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman and The Tigers Wife by Téa Obreht. I could go on and on but they are the first ones that spring to mind.

 
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Napisane w kategorii Misc